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15 Foods to Eat When You're Sick to Recover Faster


The list of foods to eat when you are sick should include foods that help hydrate us well, nourish us and aid in recovery.

Be it cold or cough, upset stomach or fever, usually when we are ill, food is the last thing we pay attention to. However, it is important that we eat well during such times, as this will help our body recover faster. Before you fill your plates, remember that it's important to know the right types of food to eat when you're sick.

Eating right will ideally help you feel better, giving you more energy. This food should not be rich in large amounts of carbohydrates, fat or calories, as this can make you sick.

What to keep in mind when choosing food to eat when we are sick?

Being sick can make even the simplest tasks seem challenging, and one area that is often affected is nutrition. Dietitian Garima Goyal shares some guidelines to consider when deciding what to eat when you're sick.

1. Stay hydrated

Water, herbal teas and clear broths help maintain fluid balance, soothe a sore throat and prevent dehydration. Consider drinking electrolyte-rich beverages to replace essential minerals lost due to fever or sweating.

2. Choose easily digestible foods

When you're not feeling well, focus on easily digestible foods. Think about plain and simple meals that won't put a strain on your digestive system. Classic examples include plain rice, boiled potatoes, and bananas. These foods provide energy without putting much strain on your body.

3. Give preference to nutrient-rich options

Even when struggling with reduced appetite, aim for nutrient-dense options. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals support your immune system and aid in the healing process. Opt for fruits, vegetables and lean proteins to provide essential nutrients.

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of nutrition, especially when you're sick. Image Courtesy: Freepik

4. Consider warm and comforting meals

Warm broths and soups are not only comforting but also provide hydration and nutrition. Chicken soup, in particular, is a timeless remedy known for its ability to soothe the symptoms of respiratory infections. The warmth can help loosen congestion, and the broth provides much-needed fluids.

5. Avoid heavy, spicy and fatty foods

During illness, it is advised to stay away from heavy, spicy or fatty foods. These may be difficult to digest and may increase nausea or digestive problems. Instead, focus on lighter, softer options that are easier on the stomach.

Also read: From dehydration to morning sickness, eating watermelon during pregnancy can help you in many ways

6. Eat small, frequent meals

Consider breaking your meals into smaller, more frequent portions. This approach may be gentler on your digestive system, making it easier for your body to process and absorb the nutrients. This is a practical way to ensure you are getting the calories and nutrients you need without putting a strain on your system.

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7. Listen to your body

Pay attention to your body's signals. If a particular food makes your symptoms worse or does not get better, avoid it. Trust your gut and adjust your diet accordingly. Everyone reacts differently to illness, so choose your foods based on what feels right to you.

15 Foods to Eat When You're Sick

1. Chicken Soup

Chicken contains amino acids such as cysteine, which can thin mucus and help reduce inflammation. The broth provides hydration and the warmth can soothe the throat. The nutrient-rich broth provides essential vitamins and minerals for healing.

2. Ginger tea

Ginger has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which support the immune system. It helps reduce nausea, aids digestion and may reduce upset stomach. The warmth of ginger tea is soothing and helps reduce inflammation in the body.

3. Bananas

Rich in vitamins C and B6, bananas are important for the immune system. These are easily digestible and gentle on the stomach. Bananas provide essential nutrients, including potassium, and help maintain electrolyte balance.

4. Curd

The probiotics in yogurt support the gut microbiota, influencing the immune response. Live cultures aid digestion and promote a healthy gut environment. The protein content aids muscle repair, which is important during recovery.

5. Oatmeal

Beta-glucan present in oats may enhance the immune response. Complex carbohydrates provide a sustained release of energy, aiding digestion. Dalia can be easily consumed, providing comfort and sustained energy.

6. Honey

Honey contains antioxidants that may help boost the immune system. It soothes sore throat and acts as a natural cough suppressant. Honey provides natural sugars for energy and has antimicrobial properties.

7. Applesauce

Apple chutney contains vitamin C and antioxidants. It is easy to digest and suitable for people with digestive problems. It also provides energy and hydration.

Broccoli is rich in vitamin C and helps when you are sick. Image Courtesy: Freepik

8. Broccoli

This is one of the best foods to eat when you are sick. Broccoli is rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants that support immune health. The fiber content aids digestion and promotes gut health. It is rich in nutrients and provides a variety of vitamins and minerals.

9. Rice

Rice is one of the easiest and best foods to eat when you're sick. It provides energy and B vitamins important for immune function. It is easily digestible, so it is suitable for upset stomach. Since it is simple and soft, it eases digestion and provides essential nutrients.

Also Read: Ginger and Nuts: 5 Best Foods to Stay Fit During Monsoon

10. Carrot Soup

Carrot soup is rich in beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A and aids in the functioning of the immune system. It is easy to digest and its warmth can be comforting. It supports overall health and immune function.

11. Salmon

Salmon is another popular food when you're sick. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory effects and support the immune system. Protein aids muscle repair and supports overall recovery. Salmon provides essential nutrients including vitamin D and selenium.

12. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are one of the tastiest and best foods to eat when you're sick. Potato is a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. They are easily digestible and provide a simple source of energy. It is comforting and helps satisfy hunger without putting much burden on the stomach.

13. Pumpkin Seeds

These may seem small, but they're a great superfood to consume when you're sick. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc which is essential for immune system function and overall health benefits. They also contain healthy fats and fiber that aid digestion.

14. Peppermint Tea

Mint has antimicrobial properties. It provides relief from nausea and aids digestion. It soothes stomach discomfort, making it easier to consume fluids.

15. Avocado

The healthy fats present in avocado aid in nutrient absorption and digestion. It's rich in vitamins C, E and B-6, which support immune function. It provides sustained energy and supports overall health.

It is best to consult your healthcare provider to check if any foods or eating habits may interfere with your specific health condition.


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July 2024
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